Floss right

January 25, 2016

This January I started flossing on a regular basis. I’d tried a few times before but never really gotten the hang of it. This time, however, I was determined to form a long lasting healthy habit. Three weeks in and my flossing regime is going well.

When we brush our teeth, provided we do it properly, we generally do a reasonable job at removing the bulk of the food particles and sugars that cause tooth erosion. However, we only really cover the surface area that we can see. The gaps between our teeth are perfect areas for food to remain. Flossing is a great way to clean between our teeth and to remove those pesky food residues. Therefore if we floss regularly, and properly, then we should dramatically reduce our chance or tooth decay and gum disease.

To get started with flossing you’ll firstly need to choose your tool. There are a variety of dental tapes and flosses available on the market. Some people find tape easier to use as it is a little thicker than floss. Experiment with both and see which you prefer. Once you’ve found your preference, you’ll need to break off a section that is about 45cm long. Wrap the majority of the tape around your middle finger and the remainder around the same finger on your opposite hand. Pull the floss or tape tight between your fingers, leaving about an inch in between. Gently slide the floss between two teeth using a rocking motion. Move the tape down to your gum line, and once it’s in place pull it round to form a c-shape around one side of you tooth. Ensure you can feel the resistance. Gently scrape the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum. Once you’ve done one side, repeat on the other side of the tooth.

In order to make sure you don’t miss any teeth, follow the same routine each time you floss. Start in the same place and work round in the same order. Perhaps you could start at the top and work left to right. Then move to the bottom and work your way round in the same way.

It will take you, and your gums, a little while to adjust to flossing. You may find that the first few days you experience a little bleeding from your gums. This is normal and happens as the built up plaque is broken down. However keep an eye on it and if the problem extends beyond a few days it’s worth speaking to your dentist.

Cleaning between your teeth is a fundamental part of an oral hygiene routine. Having now gotten into a regular routine of flossing, it’s much easier than I thought, and I’m finding myself able to do it quicker, yet still thoroughly. If you’re not already flossing, I’d urge you to have a go, or take some advice from your dentist on getting started. As well as reducing the risk of tooth decay, my teeth feel cleaner and fresher. Flossing was definitely a good move for me.

Speak to your dentist today for more information and advice on cleaning between your teeth.

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